Market slows down over early Easter holiday

The latest data from the Agency Express Property Activity Index has revealed no surprises. Traditionally in the build-up to and over the Easter period the UK property market experiences a minor slowdown. Normally a relatively buoyant month, board movements in March did slow with the onset of the early Easter holiday.  National figures recorded by the Agency Express Property Activity Index show properties ‘Sold’ during March fell by -10.0% and properties ‘For Sale’ by -4.7%.   However this month’s figures may look suppressed in comparison to January and February where we saw an influx of landlords placing properties on the market in order to avoid the buy-to-let tax. Similarly the drop in figures may also be impacted by the slowdown in landlords hitting the market approaching the 1st April.

Looking at performance across the rest of the UK, only two of the twelve regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported increases in new listings ‘For Sale’ and only one region recorded an increase in properties ‘Sold’.  The North East bucked seasonal trends recording a robust increase of 20.30% in properties ‘Sold’ and Scotland with an increase of 11.5% in new listings ‘For sale’ recorded a record best for March.

Properties ‘Sold’

  • North East +20.30%
  • South West -1.60%
  • Scotland -5.40%
  • North West -7.50%
  • London -8.30%
  • Yorkshire & Humberside -10.00%

New listings ‘For Sale’

  • Scotland +11.50%
  • East Anglia +1.10%
  • East Midlands -1.80%
  • South West -5.10%
  • Central England -5.50%
  • Wales -5.50%

The largest decline in this month’s Property Activity Index was recorded by Wales with ‘Sold’ properties falling by -19.30%.  Recent reports from the RICS UK Residential Market Survey stated that house prices have risen across Wales for the fifth consecutive month. Looking at the Property Activity Index’s rolling three monthly data ‘Sold’ figures remain stable up by 12.5%, but they are down compared to a year ago

Commenting on the latest index results, Stephen Watson, Managing Director of Agency Express said:

While agents have been busy completing property sales before the stamp duty hike, over all board movements across the UK did slow thought out the month. It will be interesting to see if we witness a spike in April’s figures as a result of the push to sell before the 1st.  Looking forwards in to April, recent reports from the Bank of England have confirmed that the number of mortgage approvals in February was 26% higher than a year ago and house purchases were up by 20%, leaving us optimistic for the start of the buying season.

Monthly % Changes for March 2016

% Changes for Jan - March 2016

New Listings
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

Properties Sold
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

New Listings Properties Sold
Mar 16 Mar 15 Mar 16 Mar 15
NATIONAL -4.7 11.6 -10 14.3
Central England -5.5 10 -13.7 16.4
East Anglia 1.1 11.3 -11.8 10.1
East Midlands -1.8 13.3 -11.8 6.2
London -8 5.5 -8.3 8.5
North East -11.9 7.9 20.3 4.4
North West -9.2 7.9 -7.5 14.3
Scotland 11.5 8.8 -5.4 9.8
South East -6.8 16.1 -13.6 16.9
South West -5.1 12.3 -1.6 19.9
Wales -5.5 12.5 -19.3 14.2
West Midlands -9 17.4 -13.9 17.6
Yorks & Humber -9.1 16 -10 25.1
New Listings Properties Sold
Jan -
Apr 16
Jan -
Mar 15
Jan -
Mar 16
Jan -
Mar 15
NATIONAL 23.9 28.3 15.2 21.7
Central England 23 26.2 11 24.7
East Anglia 25.6 27.8 16.4 24.7
East Midlands 24.2 29.6 16.4 14.6
London 21.6 24.6 12.7 19.9
North East 18.8 26.7 22.9 20.2
North West 22.2 26 17.3 18.2
Scotland 28.5 27.4 16.5 25.2
South East 22.4 30.7 12.4 15.8
South West 25.4 30.2 16 20
Wales 26 28.5 12.5 19.8
West Midlands 25.4 29.9 19.4 25.1
Yorks & Humber 22 31.5 16.3 27.8
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